Background Note | HBS Case Collection | July 2011 (Revised August 2013)

Note on Evaluating Empirical Research

by Michael I. Norton


This note is intended to provide students with a basic understanding of how to evaluate empirical research papers. While reading both case studies and empirical research require close attention and scrutiny, evaluating empirical research requires a different "lens"—this note briefly outlines how to adopt this mindset. It includes a review of the major sections of an empirical research paper (Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion), as well as guidelines on how to evaluate each section.

Keywords: Decision Making; Research; Cases; Perspective;


Norton, Michael I. "Note on Evaluating Empirical Research." Harvard Business School Background Note 512-019, July 2011. (Revised August 2013.)